I wrote in my very first post about how the key thing with sorting out your finances is to get started, to ‘Just Do It’. The point was that we often put off the things we know we should do.
So, why do we do that? There’s usually a reason for putting things off.
Time is one of the key factors. Many of us lead very busy lives juggling work and family. What little spare time we have tends to be focused on things we want to do.
Many people find thinking about finance way too difficult. The jargon, the way things change all the time, and the whole concept about ‘investing’ in complicated things like shares and bonds. It’s easy to put off things we don’t really understand.
Part of putting it off is also that financial planning requires decisions to be confronted and made about fairly major life events – protecting what we’ve got in case we die or suffer a major illness, growing old and needing to plan for when we don’t work any more.
We’re also being asked to think about the future. What might happen in the future? None of us know what will happen, so how can we plan?
The final part of putting it off though is often….’where on earth do I start’? Because we’re busy we often shove those pension statements in a draw and say that we’ll look at them ‘later’. Then another one comes next year and we just add it to the one in the draw from last year. Before you know it you’ve got a pile of papers that you haven’t looked at and now it feels a bit too scary – where do I start?
The thing with finances is that decisions rarely have to be made immediately and can be put off, for whatever reason. The consequences of not doing anything may not be felt for many years to come. If you don’t save enough into your pension, you may not realise until you are almost at retirement; if you don’t have income protection it’s not a problem until your ill etc
However, making the right financial decisions is important. To help make those decisions, finding a good adviser that you trust can make a huge difference. In most aspects of our lives we will go to an expert – a mechanic for the car, a doctor for our health problems, a dentist for our teeth, so why not seek advice about our finances?
A good financial adviser can take the time to sort out your paperwork and tell you what you’ve got. They can make sure it’s suitable for your aims and objectives. If not they can advise alternatives and help you to make a plan. They can explain financial terms to you so that you can understand and they can advise you about investment decisions. A good financial adviser will keep in touch with you regularly and will become someone you turn to whenever something changes in your life. They will help you to confront some of the big ‘life’ decisions.
A good financial adviser is ‘for the journey’ through life. They help you visualise the future you would like and then find a path towards it. The path won’t always be straight and it may be bumpy but it will be better taken together than on your own.
Next time I’ll stop lecturing about the need for good financial advice and actually give you some!